Meet the OKOTA Board Members:

Executive Officersserving two years, elected by a majority vote of members, leadership benefits include CEU's and free event registration

President:  Sarah VanAlstine
Sarah VanAlstine, OTR/L, graduated from TWU Denton (2001). She currently evaluates, treats, supervises, and mentors as an independent contractor (LLC). She has worked in Texas (NDT, Inc) and Oklahoma (Valir inpatient hospital-adult neurorehab; OKC pediatric outpatient clinic & in-home pediatrics). Her desire to promote occupational therapy as a widely recognized, research-based profession in Oklahoma led her to volunteer with the OKOTA in various roles: Community Awareness committee with public relations events, managing social media, networking among health services groups - as well as organizing Annual Conference, venue details, vendors, registration, marketing & website development. Sarah has a passion for the profession; she wants this association to grow & thrive for another 50 years!

Vice President:  Laura Labus
Laura Labus, COTA/L, B.S. General Studies, serves as the OTA Representative on the OKOTA Executive Board. She graduated in 2010 from Oklahoma City Community College with an associate’s degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant. Alongside her service with OKOTA, Laura also serves as a board member chair and treasurer of the Oklahoma Association of Neonatal and Pediatric Therapists (OANAPT). Laura hopes to further explore and grow the OTA/OTR relationship for the betterment of those in the field of Occupational Therapy.  Laura believes that OKOTA can assist those in our profession, with outreach, education and community service. Laura’s vision for OT professionals in our state is for us to become more collaborative, not only within the “wide world of OT” but also between our clinics, hospitals, home visits, schools, and mental health settings. Laura hopes to be a voice from any OKOTA member or future member to better Occupational Therapy in the great state of Oklahoma

Secretary:  Megan Wink
Megan Wink, MOT, has served on the board as the Student Representative. She recently graduated OUHSC-Tulsa with her Master of Occupational Therapy degree. Over the past two years, she has been an active member of the OUHSC SOTA, where she served as the Community Service co-Chair and also President. Megan has had fieldwork experience at Reba McEntire Center for Rehabilitation (Denison, TX) & SoonerStart (Tulsa County). She became the Student Representative for OKOTA to expand her knowledge beyond classroom content by learning from the OKOTA Executive Board and other OKOTA members. She strives to be an active part of increasing awareness of occupational therapy in Oklahoma by connecting with community members and encouraging students in leadership roles.

Treasurer:  **INTERVIEWING FOR THE NEXT Treasurer - please call 405-259-5575 if interested in this leadership role with OKOTA!
Nicole Paynter, MOT, OTR/L previously served as Treasurer on the Board. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2008 with a Master of Occupational Therapy degree.  She has worked at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital for 8 years and is currently the coordinator of the outpatient therapy department. Nicole believes it is our job, as OT professionals, to collaborate with our colleagues & educate the community about our profession. She believes volunteering with OKOTA is a perfect avenue. She looks forward to experiencing how our profession grows and impacts lives across the state and beyond.

Student Representative: Jack Beyer
Jack Beyer,  serves as the newly elected Student Representative on the OKOTA Executive Board. She strives to be an active part of increasing awareness of occupational therapy in Oklahoma by connecting with community members and fellow students. Email: OKOTAstudentRep@gmail.com

Director-at-Large:   Liz Hylton

Liz Hylton, MOTR/L served as a past president of OKOTA. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2007 and now works as a pediatric occupational therapist at Quest Pediatric Therapy, a clinic she co-founded with Paula Lewis.  Previously, she worked for 8 years at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital. Liz volunteered as a board member because she views this organization as a direct line to rejuvenating unity among the professionals of occupational therapy in the state of Oklahoma and nationally. Email: OKOTAdal1@gmail.com

OTA Representative:  Amber Smith
Amber Smith, COTA/L, previously served as Secretary for two terms. She works at Quest pediatric therapy clinic in Moore. Amber also worked at The Children's Center for ten years, also gaining valuable specialty skills in the PMRU with acute, medically-complex pediatric patients. Amber has volunteered with OKOTA, keeping records of the board's activities, progress, and plans for the future, to preserve our association's legacy and promote the value of our profession.

AOTA Representative:  Jessica Tsotsoros
Jessica Tsotsoros, MS,OTR/L,ATP, serves as as OKOTA's representative to AOTA. She graduated  from the University of Oklahoma in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and in 1999 with a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences with a pediatric emphasis. She has worked in early intervention, school systems, assistive technology and with adults with developmental disabilities.  She is the current Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for the University of Oklahoma. She decided to get involved with OKOTA to serve OKOTA and its members & promote Occupational Therapy at the State and National levels. 


Membership Chair - 
Penny Stack, OTD, OTR/L, CLT, has served as member chair in 2017. Penny currently owns & serves as director of the Dyslexia Center of Tulsa. She also works at Tulsa Community College (OTA Program Director & FW coordinator). **INTERVIEWING FOR THE NEXT MEMBER CHAIR & needed committee members
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE:  Alexandria Assaleh, Sarah VanAlstine

Community Awareness Chair
Marlene Snow, MS, OTR/L, SCLV is Lead OT and Health Educator at NewView Oklahoma.   She graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1996 with a BS in Occupational Therapy.  Marlene has worked in many settings including long-term acute care, home health, school systems, and long-term care.  She found her passion with low vision OT.  Marlene received her Specialty Certificate in Low Vision through the AOTA in 2014.  She received a Masters of Occupational Therapy degree in 2016 and has received a Graduate Certificate in Low Vision from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 
COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Elishea Barlow, Liz Davis

Continuing Education Chair
**INTERVIEWING FOR THE NEXT CE CHAIR & needed committee members.  *Call 405-259-5575 for more details if interested
Troy Lee
, OTD, OTR/L, previously served multiple terms in this role on the OKOTA board. He earned his bachelor of science in occupational therapy from the University of Oklahoma (1992).  He currently leads the acute care team at hospital in Tulsa. Troy has been an assistant professor at Northeastern State University where he taught graduate courses in occupational therapy and served as the academic fieldwork coordinator.  His role with OKOTA affords the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, network, and help share the distinct value of occupational therapy.  

By-Laws Chair
Talitha Glosemeyer-Samsel, MPH, OT/L, FACHE serves as Chair of the Bylaws, Policies, and Procedures Committee for OKOTA.  She graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and in 2007 with a Master of Public Health with emphasis in health administration and policy.  She has worked in rehabilitation management and hospital administration for the majority of her career.  Talitha recently began an adjunct teaching position in the Master of Occupational Therapy program at Northeastern State University.  She decided to get involved with OKOTA to connect with like-minded colleagues, and to promote and support Occupational Therapy and its intrinsic value to our community. Mrs.Samsel also facilitates the new SIS group for Administrators & Managers. See our Calendar of Events for the next meeting time/location.

Legislative & Reimbursement Chair
**INTERVIEWING NOW FOR THE NEXT Legislative Committee Chairperson *Call 405-259-5575 for more details if interested
Sara Kaufman
 previously served as Chairman of the Regulatory and Legislation Committee. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and now works part time as Supervisor of Outpatient Rehabilitation Services at OU Medical Center.  Sara provides operational leadership to a multidisciplinary team of outpatient therapists and is currently planning a new outpatient clinic to be opened in 2016. She joined the board in 2015 to connect with OTs around the state and raise awareness of regulatory and legislative activity impacting our profession. 
Committee Members:  Kendra Orcutt, Tara Warwick (Bailey), Margaret Bates, Sarah VanAlstine, Talitha Samsel

Awards & Recognitions Chair
Paula Lewis OT/L, MBA serves as the Awards Recognitions Chair on the OKOTA board.  Her education includes a BS in Biology and Minor in Exercise Science from Southwest Missouri State University, a BS in Occupational Therapy from OUHSC, and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.  Paula's OT career has spanned acute rehab, home health, traveling and management positions, and outpatient orthopedic settings.  She founded Oklahoma Therapy Institute in 1994.  Her work at OTI includes outpatient management of acute and chronic pain as well as education and training in work and industry.  Most recently she has co-founded Quest Pediatric Therapy with Liz Hylton.  Paula became a board member after being asked to serve on the 2014 OKOTA conference committee.  She believes that participating in OKOTA gives back to the career that has provided for her and her family.

Development Chair
Linda Cooper (bio coming soon!) Linda has volunteered her leadership skills on the OKOTA board for many years, and has been our expert at the development of the Annual Conference fundraising events, benefitting the AOTF endowed OKOTA student scholarship fund. Linda and her committee help to organize donations, baskets, prize drawings, and the LIVE auction and silent auction events at the Annual Conferences. The OKOTA continues to benefit from her many talents, as do the annual scholarship recipients!

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT CHAIR)Interviewing for this position now, if interested in helping with our social media accounts, updating the online calendar, and crafting membership news emails, please contact Sarah VanAlstine, OKOTA President for more details